Research Student Development Programme

Research training day at Falmouth University

Our Research Student Development Programme (RSDP) is open to all postgraduate research students registered on MPhil and PhD programmes at Falmouth University. It constitutes a fundamental part of the research degree experience and has been designed to support, guide and equip our students to make the most of their research journey.

Programme structure 

The RSDP is made up of a combination of essential units and complementary optional units and supported by Personal Development Planning, as follows:

The essential units are designed to address key themes pertinent to all PhD projects and are built around the milestones of:

  • Enrolment
  • Application for Registration
  • Symposia
  • Confirmation of Route 
  • Project Submission

In addition to essential units, you are encouraged to select and attend both complementary and stand-alone optional units, covering an array of focuses, which collectively enable you to personalise your own development programme to progress both your research and professional life as a whole.

Personal Development Planning (PDP) forms a key element of your research degree and should be informed by initial and ongoing reviews of your goals and skills. These reviews, their outcomes and agreed PDP objectives, should then serve to guide the courses, units and professional development opportunities you choose to pursue.

Full details and guidance relating to personal development planning, aims and objectives are provided within the Falmouth Research Degrees Handbook, available in the Learning Space

Development focuses

The focus areas of our Research Student Development Programme (RSDP) have been mapped to reflect the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) so that it may help equip our research students with skills required to:​

  • Develop as world-class researchers​
  • Produce quality research and outputs that contribute to, and strengthen, our research base​
  • Contribute to and help build the UK’s workforce​ in line with Vitae guidance

Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF)​

The RDF sets out the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of effective and highly skilled researchers, appropriate for a wide range of careers, and is structured in four domains (A-D) encompassing: knowledge, intellectual abilities, techniques and professional standards required to do research, as well as the personal qualities, knowledge and skills necessary to work with others and ensure the wider impact of research. ​

Each domain is broken down further into three sub-domains, each with associated descriptors, which collectively define the various aspects of being a researcher. This is best illustrated by the RDF wheel:​

Researcher Development Framework Wheel
RDF Wheel

Reflecting the RDF Framework in Falmouth’s RSDP 

All training, courses, sessions, essential and complementary units comprised within our Research Student Development Programme have been designed to focus on developing the skills and skillsets charted within the RDF wheel.

Programmed sessions

A complete programme of RSDP opportunities, available throughout the academic year, can be found in the RSDP Handbook and include:

RSDP sessions

RSDP sessions are listed on MyTimetable for all PGR students regardless of study year. Details of session content can be accessed on the Learning Space, which you will need your Falmouth user details to login to.​

Researcher seminar series 

The internal seminar series is an opportunity for researchers from across the university to come together to hear about colleagues’ work and to present work in progress, and to share ideas over drinks and nibbles.

Postgraduate research student induction

  • Postgraduate Research Student Training​
  • Spring & Summer Symposia​

Postgraduate research skills

  • Essential Research Skills​
  • Writing Skills Series 1-6​
  • Reading Skills Series 1-2​
  • Research Methods Series 1-3​
  • Confirmation of Route​
  • Viva Voce​
  • Developing your Research Skills​
  • Research Students & Teaching

Digital Skills courses and online training courses 

  • Falmouth Digital Skills
  • Online training courses and resources​

Falmouth staff development programme

Research students also have access to the Falmouth Staff Development Programme with courses available in the following areas: ​

  • Health and Safety training​
  • Learning and Teaching​
  • Digital Skills 

Programme standards

Beyond its intrinsic value, our Research Student Development Programme (RSDP) is designed to meet the core external requirements of the Quality Assurance Agency, the Researcher Development Statement and degree validator: University of the Arts London.

To illustrate how the programme meets the core external requirements, we’ve adopted the Researcher Development Statement (RDS) which replaces the Research Councils' Joint Skills Statement (2001) as the UK framework underpinning professional development for researchers at all levels. 

A copy of the statement is available in the Learning Space and also in the Falmouth Research Student Handbook under Research Training.

RSDP support

Contact the Research ​ & Development Team

The Research & Development Team are on hand to help with any research student development questions. Simply email or call 01326 255831.

Email us

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